Groove – Episode #96: The Legacy of John Entwistle with Steve Luongo

John Entwistle and Steve Luongo

The year was 1982. My older brother (a guitarist) showed me a live broadcast of The Who’s The Final Concert from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. I know the words to every song on that setlist and can also mimic the between-song banter. That show had me memorized. I watched it and re-watched it on my Betamax until the tape turned to dust. In particular, the bass playing of John Entwistle.

In the middle of Roger Daltrey’s soaring vocals and swinging mic cords, Pete Townshend’s windmill passes at his guitar and knee-to-chest jumps, and Kenny Jones holding down what was Keith Moon’s drum fort, there stood the man also known as The Ox. Subdued in comparison to his bandmates? Yes. Playing notes and rhythms that I had never heard before from a bass guitar? Yes. It was during those moments that I knew I wanted to play the bass.

To this day, good ole Thunderfingers is still a lighthouse for many bass players. His legacy and discography with The Who can’t be denied. Rock n’ roll hall of famers and part of the British Invasion, songs like “Baba O’Reilly,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “My Generation,” and countless others are still streamed and heard every day – from coast to coast.

Rolling Stone magazine named Entwistle as the greatest bassist of all time in a reader’s poll, and its special, 100 Greatest Bass Players, ranked him at number three. Entwistle died in 2002 at the young age of 57. Now, twenty years later, we get Rarities Oxhumed – Volume One – the first in a series of posthumous releases coming from John Entwistle as part of a new partnership with Deko Entertainment and longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Luongo. From unreleased music and demos to live tracks of his work outside of The Who and beyond, this is an amazing journey for one of rock’s most solid bass players.

Now, for the first time, Groove – The No Treble Podcast interviews a drummer. Steve Luongo and John worked together for 15 years on Entwistle’s solo work. This rhythm section extended beyond the music into a great friendship, and now Steve (who delivered Entwistle’s eulogy) also acts as the curator for all things John Entwistle.

Enjoy the conversation…

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